Because of you, someone will eat today

Volunteers make it possible for Ozarks Food Harvest to feed more than 50,000 individuals each month. Become a Hunger Hero by donating your time! Whether you volunteer monthly, or commit to a weekly schedule, your gift of time will Transform Hunger into Hope for children, families and seniors in need in the Ozarks.

In a typical three-hour Sort & Pack session at the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief in Springfield, you will help provide more than 300 meals. Complete the easy volunteer application on our volunteer management system to become part of The Food Bank’s volunteer community, or if you’re a returning Hunger Hero, simply schedule your upcoming session. We ask that volunteers schedule in advance, arrive on time, and wear closed-toe shoes. For assistance, contact our volunteer engagement team at (417) 865-3411.

We do not work with volunteers who have past or current convictions related to violent crimes, sexual assault/sexual offender, or theft. Court-Ordered Community Service Policy: Applicants must be approved before registering for volunteer sessions. Please designate this, along with the requested details, on your application.

Schedule a Session Group Request

Check out this month’s Volunteer Spotlight!

Having trouble scheduling a session? Click here for a short tutorial video.

Volunteer Sessions

Arvest volunteers

Help Transform Hunger into Hope

These Sort & Pack shifts fall within Ozarks Food Harvest’s hours of operation. The projects involve checking food safety guidelines and expiration dates, sorting like items and repacking food for distribution. Individuals ages 12+ and groups are welcome, and orientation is provided. Weekly commitments are also encouraged!

Our weekday sessions are:

  • MORNING SESSIONS: Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. – noon
  • AFTERNOON SESSIONS:  Monday–Thursday from 1–4 p.m.
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Evenings & Weekends include assembly projects

In addition to donation inspection, volunteer opportunities often include assembly line-style projects, such as packing food bags for the Weekend Backpack Program or Senior Food boxes. Groups and individuals ages 12+ are welcome!

  • EVENING SESSIONS: Tuesdays from 6 – 9 p.m.
  • SATURDAY SESSIONS: 9 – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. (Labor Day – March)
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Draw a fun picture, share happy thoughts and get creative!

Nearly 70,000 Weekend Backpack bags are distributed each year, and it’s our goal to ensure that every weekend backpack has an encouraging and hopeful note for the child receiving it. Positive words of encouragement let children know that their community supports and cares about them.

This project does not require standing, children under 12 can participate if accompanied by an adult and Hope Note Kits can be provided to create Hope Notes at home or at your office!

Register for a Hope Note session today by clicking the button below or reach out to the volunteer engagement team to request a Hope Note Kit.

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Because of you, someone will eat today.

By volunteering with us, you are going to make an impact and change a life. Here’s how:

  • Over 3,600 volunteers give nearly 30,000 hours of their time every year, this gift of time helps to provide over 3 million meals every year!
  • Volunteers inspect and pack an average of 100,000 pounds of food every week, that’s about 30% of the food Ozarks Food Harvest distributes annually.
  • Ozarks Food Harvest distributes over 23 million pounds of food to more than 270 hunger-relief partners in 28 counties and volunteers make that possible!

You can help us continue to make meals happen across the Ozarks.

View Current Opportunities

Fight Hunger with Full Circle Gardens

Here are several ways you can help get more local fruits and vegetables onto the plates of our neighbors facing hunger.

Help reduce waste and get excess produce into the hands of our neighbors in need

Glean Team volunteers help reduce waste and provide nutritious produce for our neighbors facing hunger. “Gleaning” is the term for harvesting excess produce from farms and gardens that would otherwise go to waste. Special pop-up gleaning opportunities arise when partner farms and gardens request assistance to harvest excess produce for donation. These sessions, when available, will be emailed to registered volunteers and can be found on the existing volunteer program calendar.

View Current Opportunities Learn More

Do you have an abundance of produce you’d like to donate?

If you need help harvesting or transporting excess crops for donation to The Food Bank, our experienced staff members can help. Contact our field operations manager Cady Wolf at cwolf@ozarksfoodharvest.org or (417)834-5829 for more information about gleaning or to schedule a time for us to visit your farm.

Learn about Full Circle Gardens

Is your farm or garden outside Greene County?

The Ozarks Food Harvest Glean Team primarily operates within Greene County, but Full Circle Gardens staff is working to connect farms in surrounding counties with our partner charities nearby. To learn more, contact our garden outreach coordinator Jessica Allen at jallen@ozarksfoodharvest.org or (417)865-3411, ext. 154.

Contact the Team


Plant an Extra Row for our Neighbors in Need

Locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables are such a gift to our community. You can donate excess produce straight from your garden or orchard to The Food Bank through our Plant A Row program. We work with a network of 270 faith-based and community charities across 28 counties to deliver food to our neighbors in need.

We accept donations at our distribution center located at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. in Springfield, MO on Monday – Thursday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Fridays between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Please bring your donations to the Agency Entrance near Packer Road. We are closed on holidays.

Learn about Full Circle Gardens

plant a row photo

Benefits of Volunteering

Make an even bigger impact, Spread the word about volunteering!

Ask your friends, family or co-workers to join you in volunteering! Doing good and helping neighbors is not only beneficial for your community, there are great benefits for you too!

Click here to see a heartfelt interview with volunteer Don Landon.


Programs made possible thanks to Ozarks Food Harvest volunteers

  • Backpack

    The Food Bank’s Weekend Backpack Program provides food insecure children with a bag of nutritious, child-friendly food for them to take home over the weekends, when they might otherwise go hungry.

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  • Senior Food

    Supplementing the diets of low-income seniors with nutritious USDA food at 33 locations across the Ozarks, this program provides more than 3,600 eligible seniors with healthy food through senior centers, churches and pantries.

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  • Mobile Food Pantry

    Ozarks Food Harvest's pantry on wheels delivers bulk loads of food to central locations in rural areas, or to member food pantries that do not have adequate freezer or cooler space.

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